Photo: Princess Cristina
The younger of Spanish King Juan Carlos’ two daughters told a judge she had no role in managing a jointly owned firm that her husband allegedly used to launder embezzled money, media outlets said Thursday, citing court transcripts.
“I trusted him, he suggested it to me and I accepted,” Princess Cristina said, explaining why she agreed to husband Iñaki Urdangarin’s proposal that they create the Aizoon company.
Cristina, 48, spent more than six hours answering questions from investigating magistrate Jose Castro during a Feb. 8 closed-door hearing on the island of Mallorca, becoming the first member of Spain’s royal family to testify as a suspect in a criminal case since the monarchy was reinstated in 1975.
Urdangarin, a former Olympic handball player, decided to create Aizoon “to channel his professional income,” the princess said, according to the official transcript, portions of which were leaked to the press.
“From there on, I have had nothing more to do with (Aizoon),” Cristina told Judge Castro, who is investigating the princess for possible money laundering and tax evasion.
“I looked after the children, their activities, school and everything that had to do with them, with doctors and the rest. And my husband dealt with all the spending,” the princess said.
Under questioning by her attorney, Jesus Maria Silva, Cristina said she knew nothing about tax or legal matters and had only “very basic” economic knowledge.
The princess said that in her work for Fundacion La Caixa, the philanthropic arm of La Caixa bank, she “generally” signs documents without reading them.
“If I have confidence in the person who presents them (the documents) to me, then I sign them,” she said.
Investigators say Aizoon was used to launder funds that Urdangarin allegedly embezzled from Spanish regional governments by using his royal connections to obtain lucrative, no-bid public contracts to organize sports and tourism conferences.
Those contracts were awarded to the Noos Institute, which Urdangarin chaired. The royal son-in-law and his former partner, Diego Torres, are accused of siphoning off more than 6 million euros ($8.2 million) between 2003 and 2006 through the non-profit foundation.